of sight! Saturday’s Clark After Dark.
of This World
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute underwent an intergalactic
makeover last Friday evening (March 20) for Planet Clark,
the last of three Clark After Dark events this winter. Washed
in blue lights and filled with every sparkling, glowing or
blinking decoration imaginable, the Clark packed in patrons
dressed in various degrees of alien wear.
Every detail of the event played into the space theme, down
to the planetary punch and the ‘onion rings of Saturn’ served.
The highlight of the night was a specialized print talk led
by the director of the Center of Education and Visual Arts,
Michael Cassin; a selection of works were pulled from the
archives, and shown and discussed in the print room of the
library for one night only. The small room only fits 14 people,
and only four talks were given throughout the night.
is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this art collected and
presented in this way,” said Lesley Anne Grow-Winfisky, events
coordinator for the Clark.
have to find some way to connect the theme with things from
our collection,” said Cassin. Cassin decided to focus on mythology,
selecting five prints of figures that eventually ended up
in the night sky, including the moon, Venus, Mercury, and
the constellations Hercules, Andromeda and Perseus.
An engaging storyteller, Cassin brought these prints to life
by weaving classic tales of love and brutality among the gods.
of it as being the ancient equivalent of a daytime soap opera,”
Cassin said. The presentation was conversational and entertaining,
and afterwards people had the opportunity to get a closer
look at the prints, which consisted of engravings, etchings
and a drawing.
colleagues know how to make the best of me,” Cassin joked.
“I’m not a party person—stick me in a quiet room with some
pictures and some people to talk to.”
Clark After Dark, now in its fourth year, is organized by
staff members from various departments of the Williams town,
Mass. landmark. The other two events this year were themed
around the Renaissance and Spanish flamenco; all three aimed
to bring attention to the exhibits and events at the museum.
does bring a little bit of money in, but the goal is really
to bring in young professionals and increase the diversity
of the members of the Clark,” Grow-Winfisky said. While there
were many young people in attendance, the crowd ranged widely
in age, with specific aspects of the event attracting people
of different ages.
some people who aren’t necessarily going to get up on the
dance floor, but like to come to the events because they like
to be around the excitement,” said Sally Morse Majewski, manager
of public relations and marketing for the Clark.
The dance floor remained fairly empty until around 10 PM,
when more young people began to show up to move to the sounds
provided by DJ Tigerbeatz. A hula-hoop workshop that coordinated
with LED hoop dance displays throughout the night grabbed
the attention of all varieties of people—from a 20-something
in a spandex space-suit to a middle-age man in a business
Clark After Dark was created after the success of a marathon-like
50 hours of art and activities in conjunction with the 50th
anniversary of the Clark.
sort of got us thinking, what we could do to get people to
come to the Clark in the evening and experience that,” said
Clark After Dark is expected to continue next winter, but
in the meantime young professionals can attend a full calendar
of summer events, including Cocktails With O’Keeffe, a small
group gallery talk and wine party on July 10 at 5 PM.